What are the different types of wheelchair lifts?
If you are in need of getting a wheelchair into your van, you may be thinking of different types of lifts. Some vans already have lifts included, but others require you to have the lift installed after purchasing the van. Here are some different wheelchair lift options for vehicles.
Hybrid Wheelchair Lift
If you have a van or SUV, you might be able to get a hybrid wheelchair lift. This type of lift is meant for when you drive someone around that uses a wheelchair, but they are able to at least step into the van and sit in a regular seat. This is because the wheelchair is transported in the trunk or cargo area of your vehicle. After being installed, a button helps the platform fold out and reach the ground, providing a ramp that lets you drive or push the wheelchair up, then fold the lift back into the cargo area and keep the wheelchair in the cargo area. It is not a good option if the person who needs the wheelchair can't stand or walk, unless you are able to transfer their weight on your own from the chair to the interior vehicle seat.
Under-Vehicle Wheelchair Lift
This is a great option when you want the lift to get the wheelchair into the passenger area of the van or SUV. The lift is installed underneath the vehicle, where it easily comes out when you need it. It doesn't take up any interior space since it is mounted underneath the vehicle, but it is a convenient way to get a passenger into the vehicle while still letting them remain in the wheelchair. Perhaps you have an adult family member that needs easy and safe transporting, without putting your own physical health in jeopardy by trying to lift them. The under-vehicle wheelchair lift allows you to gain these benefits.
Side-Entry Wheelchair Lift
The side-entry wheelchair lift is very similar to the under-vehicle lift, except the platform itself is in the vehicle. The main benefit is that when the platform lifts the wheelchair into the vehicle, which is often a conversion van, it acts as a stable surface for the wheelchair. There is no securing the wheelchair into the van since this lift is already going to lock in the wheelchair until it is time to exit the vehicle. However, this uses up a little less space on the side of the vehicle than an under-vehicle mounted lift since it moves in a different direction.